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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: Where The Hell Am I - Apr 20, 2011

    This week, Jason Aaron offers aspiring writers a simple piece of advice necessary for anyone who wishes to improve their scripting chops -- Write like your parents are dead.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Fraggin' Bastich
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    Batman must be a helluva a writer, then :D


    Great piece of advise. I enjoy and learn a lot from your colums, Jason! Keep writing 'em and I'll keep reading :)

  3. #3

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    How is a writing class "not the time or place" for fantasy or sci-fi, if that's the sort of setting you want to use? Is your writing teacher seriously suggesting that someone can't write something just as deep, meaningful, personal, or literary using a setting they've created from whole cloth as basing things in a historical or real world setting? That's a good 50% or so of Neil Gaiman's output he's dismissed for a start.

    I took a creative writing class during my degree at one of Britain's most respect universities in that field. I wrote a short play about mythological characters living together and experiencing various breakdowns. I got a first (not sure if you have those in America, an A+ grade). Is it seriously suggested that in fact that class, where I succeeded to a greater level than my others, was "not the time or place" for writing what I wanted to write and enjoyed writing?

    I'll never understand the prejudice against genre fiction American (and it does seem to be mainly Americans) academics have. Lack of imagination on their part, perhaps?

  4. #4

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    The professor didn't read fantasy or sci-fi. Just wasn't his cup of tea. So he didn't feel qualified to instruct you in writing it. Simple as that. He wasn't making a blanket statement about all writing courses.

  5. #5
    Creator of Strange Paths! tesh_karde's Avatar
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    Thanks Jason, your articles are always a treat to read, and very usually helpful to myself as a writer. Your time and insight are definitely appreciated!

  6. #6
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    Thank you Jason.

  7. #7
    Kittybear Will Get You! TheDancingCookie's Avatar
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    That's probably the best piece of writing advice I've ever heard. Thanks Jason.

  8. #8
    i exist... spiderrmonkey's Avatar
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    Great advice. I noticed that issue with myself when I first started writing. I would find myself thinking in horror, "What if my mom reads this?!" Now I just write for myself; if my mom reads it and would rather wipe her butt with it, then so be it.

  9. #9
    Cool exec, heart of steel BillR's Avatar
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    We were told to avoid sci-fi or fantasy or any particularly involved genre, because a 15 page short story isn't the place to build and entire world. I kinda disagreed, but, what could you do.

  10. #10
    i exist... spiderrmonkey's Avatar
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    My first creative writing teacher in college despised any "non-real" fiction. He just didn't like it and apparently didn't see much worth in it. I disagreed but followed the rules. Now that I get to teach creative writing, I tell my students that they can write in any genre they like as long as the plot is interesting and revealing and the characters are "real" people.

  11. #11
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Jason, as something of an aspiring scribbler myself, I must say this is some of the greatest advice available.

    Lately I've come across a lot of folks, in classes and the like, that immediately call themselves writers. Now, I'm not sure about the rest of you but I am always apprehensive of doing such things. Especially since the only real things I've published, as of yet, are a couple of poems here and there. Most of these individuals are quick to share too, thinking that they are the next prodigy. It's all the same, all the same generic stuff. No one I know personally really writes unhinged, and I do think that I'm in the minority for doing so. I think it marks something of a passion for the written word, and not just the literary scene.

    Really great article, mate. Enjoyed every bit.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Aaron View Post
    The professor didn't read fantasy or sci-fi. Just wasn't his cup of tea. So he didn't feel qualified to instruct you in writing it. Simple as that. He wasn't making a blanket statement about all writing courses.
    I had a creative writing teacher say the same thing, but I wrote a fantasy story anyway. Luckily, he liked it enough to give me a passing grade. Others weren't so lucky. It wasn't straight fantasy though, so that probably helped.
    edit: The other two people that wrote the fantasy work just wrote generic trash. Elves with random apostrophes in their names, dwarfs with Scottish accents, etc. Nothing really to say beyond "they had an adventure and it was cool."
    Last edited by Gorgeousaur; 04-20-2011 at 07:59 PM.
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  13. #13
    One of the Good Guys maniacmatt's Avatar
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    After reading this column and then watching "Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods", I must say I feel very compelled to write something absolutely batshit insane.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Steve Broome's Avatar
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    "internet" is actually Latin for "people who will hate your work."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Steve Broome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiderrmonkey View Post
    My first creative writing teacher in college despised any "non-real" fiction. He just didn't like it and apparently didn't see much worth in it. I disagreed but followed the rules. Now that I get to teach creative writing, I tell my students that they can write in any genre they like as long as the plot is interesting and revealing and the characters are "real" people.
    I assume this is where using the term "genre" as a pejorative comes from.

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